Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vogue 1233 - White + silver Pamella Roland shirtdress

It has been a busy month around here with little time to sew. I feel like I have been working on this dress forever! (Really it's been about 4 weeks.) Now that it is finally done I am thrilled with the outcome:


This pattern came out in 2011. I loved the oversized bias collar, the shirtdress styling, the pockets and little cap sleeves. I bought the perfect fabric online and then plopped it and the pattern into one of my many project bins and sewed something else. I don't know why I do this so often. Maybe I'm scared of ruining my perfect fabric or I don't want to make something very challenging. Whatever the cause, I am working on sewing some of those long-planned garments this summer, and this was the first up.


I cut my normal size 10 up top, tapering to a 12 for the waist and hips. Boy was that muslin tight!!! The pattern has 35" for the size 10 bust printed on pattern piece 1, but there is no way that is accurate. Probably it would have been a good idea to flat measure it with a tape measure but I almost never do that. At least I made a muslin to iron out the fit issues! Anyway, after I added 1" to the bust and 1.5" to the waist, the fit was excellent. (Although after viewing these pictures I probably could have added a bit more to the back waist.)


A review for this pattern on patternreview.com sighted that the lower dress placket opened up when the wearer sat down. I did not want this to happen in my dress, so I continued the buttons down the dress and omitted the hidden buttons. Speaking of buttons, I had THE HARDEST TIME finding any that worked with this fabric. The only ones I could find locally were either extremely cheap looking or the wrong shade of silver. I finally decided to order 3 different silver buttons from Mood fabrics, then settled on these you see here and got them with my June Mood money. I sewed them on with gray thread and used thread shanks to help the fabric lie flatter.


This fabric is a silk and linen blend with silver threads running throughout. The large collar is a fun design feature and helps to even out my small upper torso.


I almost didn't put these pockets on because I was worried they might make my bottom half look wide. However, this dress looked really plain without the pockets so I went ahead and sewed them on. The proportion seems to work because the skirt has some width to it.


Dressform pictures:


When I tried this on and sat down, areas between the buttons jutted out in an unflattering manner. I added 3 waistband closures to combat this, which you can just see in the picture below.  And just in case you were wondering, the second button from the top is not buttoned because my dressform is now slightly bustier then I am. When my daughter weaned herself at 10 months of age, I sadly became even smaller in that area then I was before I was pregnant with her.


I used ivory Ambiance that I had in my stash for the lining.


The directions for installing the sleeves with the lining did not make much sense to me. I simply stitched them to the dress fully lined, then used bias tape to finish off the edges, and only had to do a tiny bit of slip-stitching around the top of the sleeve where I couldn't get the machine.


The directions have you slip-stitching the bottom of the lining to the dress hem like you would a jacket lining. This made my outer fabric pool at the hemline. After ripping that all out, I hemmed the lining with a small 5/8" double folded hem and left it to hang freely from the dress hem. Can you believe neither of my local fabric stores carry any ivory hem tape?! I had to go looking amongst all the laces to find anything appropriate for a pretty hem finish.


This pattern is a Pamella Rolland design from her Spring 2010 collection, which you can view here if interested. It is a unique dress and a fun addition to my wardrobe.

Vogue 1233

103 comments:

  1. I really like that you put the buttons all the way down the front of your dress and it's very pretty on you!

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  2. This is very pretty, I agree with Carolyn, I like the buttons all the way down the front.

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  3. love it, the fabric is perfect and I really like the shape on you. agree with all your pattern tweaks, especially about the hem/lining. much better. Plus fun to pick up a pattern that you put aside, no matter how long ago. Lovely.

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  4. What stunning dress! I love the fabric choice and think the shape looks so flattering on you!

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  5. hello again! That must be satisfying to pick up castaway projects. I agree that the pockets look great, especially with the width of the skirt. Yours is so much better than the pattern pic! Also, your points on your collar are amazingly perfect!!! any hot tips for achieving that result??

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    1. Thanks LLBB! For the collar I simply clip the point off and grade the seams. Poke something slightly dull into the corner when you turn it to get it sharp looking, then press. Natural fabrics tend to press better, and as this is a silk/linen combo, it really holds its shape.

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  6. Fantastic dress! Might have to get this pattern after seeing yours!

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  7. I almost picked up that pattern, but passed it by because of the envelope styling (buttons, boxy fit, upholstery looking fabric). Yours is one of the most flattering shirt dresses I have ever seen. It is stunning both on you and off. Great job!

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  8. Amanda, this dress is so gorgeous! And I really admire the finishing touches. Whenever I finish a garment I think of you - and I never manage to do is as nicely, but I aspire to your level of skill. You are a real inspiration to me!

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  9. What A Beautiful Dress This Is! So Pretty And Neat Finishings... Love It On You Too ;)

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  10. Thanks for this very useful review of a pttern I've had on my sewing list forever..
    Your version is stunning. Your fabric choice is perfect. So are the finishes. Bravo.

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  11. Oh wow! Great attention to detail and perfect fit as usual. All the effort in finding the right button was worth it.

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  12. Exceptional work as always. I love the fabric and the design.

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  13. Beautiful and perfect both on the outside and inside. Love the combination of fabric and pattern.

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  14. Amazing dress. Again! LOVE that collar. I'm interested in how you finish the armholes. Do you stitch and the slip stitch the binding?

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    1. Thanks Leighith! (hope I spelled that right.) I actually machine stitch the binding to the lining as far as I can, then slip stitch the areas that are too tight for my machine to go. You have to pull the lining out and away from the outer fabric. I use to slip stitch the whole thing, then wised up that I could save myself some time using my machine for part of it.

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  15. Oh, I love this dress, and it is so meticulously finished - beautiful!! I actually like it better with buttons all the way down. Perfect fit.

    This suits you really well!

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  16. Beautiful dress, very elegant. You look wonderful in it!

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  17. What a gorgeous dress! The fabric is pretty special and the style looks great on you.

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  18. I love this dress! Perfect fabric choice too!

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  19. You have done a lovely job on this pattern. I also have this pattern, but have not found the right fabric yet. I know that mine would not turn out anywhere as neat as yours though!

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    1. Thanks Katherine! Take your time and make a muslin first. I am sure you will be successful!

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  20. I've been wondering what you've been up to, and this dress was definitely worth the wait to see! I love the collar and pockets, they really add a great detail to a lovely silhouette.

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    1. Thanks Kristy! I've been busy and had low sewing mojo lately. These kids of mine are such a time suck! ;)

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  21. It's beautiful. I think it is more elegant without the belt. I particularly like the flared hemline.

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    1. Thanks Gail! I liked the belt for bringing in the fabric in the opposite direction from the dress fabric, but couldn't use it because of all the buttons. Glad to hear you think it's more elegant this way!

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  22. It looks so proffesionally made! And it suits you perfectly! Very, very neat sewing! And the fabric is fantastic for this dress.

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  23. I just love this! The fabric is super gorgeous, and all your finishing techniques are so professional and well done! Great dress!!

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  24. Amanda this dress is stunning! I love the collar, too and the overall simplicity. The twinkle in the fabric jazzes it up and your sewing is beautiful.
    Very nice!!

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    1. Thanks Robin! Also, I hadn't realized you started blogging again!

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  25. omg amanda, you make the most perfect dresses!

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  26. It looks AMAZING on you! The front pockets are perfect and I love all the finishing details you added. The inside of the dress is just as pretty as the outside!

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  27. As always, a beautiful dress with perfect fit! I am so inspired by your sewing skill and eye for putting together patterns and fabrics.

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  28. Wow, this is lovely! It's absolutely perfect! Great job, girl!

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  29. Gorgeous dress, and your choice of fabric is perfect. Just stunning!

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  30. I actually have this dress cut and muslin-ed for fit. I stalled and set it aside because I didn't like the way the front would bag open. I even considered making it false buttons and putting a zipper down the side. I like the way that you handle it with the buttons and hooks, very professional and a great idea.

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  31. Hi Amanda,
    Beautiful dress...looks lovely on you.
    I actually have this pattern as well and love it.
    Yes, I do plan to make it sometime (don't laugh or hold your breath though!). :)

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    1. Thanks Mom! Haha, I won't hold my breath. ;)

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  32. This is a stunning dress. I hope you have somewhere fun to wear it. Such a great, architectural collar.

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    1. Thank you Crystalpleats! It will be worn to church and... that's it for now. Might make a good art gallery function frock if I ever went to stuff like that.

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  33. Beautiful! The silver thread would have scared me but they are so subtle and the perfect touch.

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  34. Wow wow wow! This is so beautiful - you look AMAZING in it!

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  35. Looks like an amazing choice of fabric and fit is just perfect! So beautiful!!!

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  36. Hi very beautiful and amazing! I like the pattern, I like the fabric and I definitely like the combination! I also like the little finishing details, good job!

    Besides, I recognize your habit to buy a great pattern and fabric, yet not starting immediately with it. For me it's because I have so many ideas I want to make, that I choose mostly for the smaller projects, until I want to make the project.

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  37. This dress is truly stunning

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  38. My gosh, Amanda, that is a gorgeous dress & you did a super job on the sewing. It looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. You should be so proud.

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  39. AMAZING!!!!
    I actually have this same fabric. I love this dress!

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  40. Bravo! Love how that looks on you! Really interesting fabric - does silk help combat the linen wrinkling?

    I've been on the fence about buying a dressform, only because I feel like my shape keeps changing (bigger and smaller) and I'm not sure how to address that. Are you going to get a new dressform?

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    1. Thanks June! I'm not sure about the wrinkling of this fabric. I have yet to wear it for any length of time. It kept its smoothness while I was making it. And no, I will not be buying another dressform. It doesn't bother me too much that it's a bit bigger because I always make a muslin these days. I don't have to add any ease to my garments when I'm trying them on her, so that's actually somewhat helpful.

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  41. Oooh, this dress is to die for!! I love the pattern and the fabric is so luscious! And, it looks just terrific on you, fits you like a glove!

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  42. Beautiful dress. You look gorgeous in it and your workmanship is excellent (as always).

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  43. This dress is flat-out stunning on you. I have been trying to teach myself to sew for the last few years now, and I feel like creating garments for myself is the Mt. Everest of sewing. I wish I had your skills! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  44. Beautiful! Your work is impeccable. Love it.

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  45. Great finish. The dress looks fantastic on you.

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  46. Hi Ammanda,
    I love this dress. You always make such beautiful things that I covet and your pieces always look so well executed. Do you manage to wear all the things you make?

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    1. Thanks Silkwings! There are sometimes dresses I don't wear right away because the season changes right after I make it, but otherwise I do wear what I make.

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  47. This is beautiful, inside and out! It fits you so perfectly!

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  48. If you told me you'd bought this at Chanel, I'd believe it straight away!
    The dress looks gorgeous even if I seldom wear dresses (and even more so formal ones) myself.

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